The vape market includes everything from disposable e-cigarettes to highly sophisticated vape setups geared toward advanced vapers. Different devices deliver different types of vape experiences.
What kind of device is right for you? The answer depends on what matters most to you. Some devices are great if you’re constantly on the go, while others are great for relaxing at home. Every new device has a learning curve, but some curves are steeper than others.
In this article, we’ll explore the different types of vape device you can choose when you’re on your vaping adventure.
Disposable Vapes and E-Cigarettes
Also called cigalikes, these are often the first thing smokers turn to when they quit smoking and start vaping. These small, slender devices are the shape and size of cigarettes.
An e-cigarette is a logical next step because it feels like a cigarette in your hand, looks just like a cigarette and gives off a small glow at the tip, just like a cigarette. For a smoker, this is the closest you can get to the experience of actually smoking.
Companies market these e-cigarettes and disposables as smoking alternatives. Nicotine is the most addictive drug, and these cig-a-likes offer smokers the chance to get the nicotine they crave in a delivery system they’re used to. These devices ease the transition from smoking to vaping.
How Do They Work?
They’re actually tiny vape devices that have a self-contained battery and a small, pre-filled reservoir holding the vape juice. Some require the user to attach the pre-filled reservoir while others come pre-assembled.
People new to vaping like them because they don’t require any extra purchases or any setup at all. You just buy the device, open the package and start using it.
Some of these e-cigarettes are disposable. You can’t refill them, you just “smoke” them until they’re done and then throw them away. Popular brands of this type include Fin, Blu and Mngo Stick. The obvious issue with disposable vape pens is the waste.
Refillable and Rechargeable E-Cigarettes
These devices look like the disposables but have the added convenience of being refillable and rechargeable. These were the first smoking alternatives to hit the market in a big way about 20 years ago.
Small Battery for Small Power
With a rechargeable e-cigarette, the body of the cigarette is actually the battery. It has a capacity of 200mh or 300mAh. That’s not much, but you don’t need a lot in these devices.
Many of these e-cigarette starter kits come with a portable charging case that’s the size and shape of a pack of cigarettes. The case allows you to charge your cigarettes when you’re away from home.
Fill Them Up
To get juice into your battery, you purchase cartridges that screw onto the tip of the battery. The cartridge contains e-liquid, a tiny atomizer and an LED tip. When you “smoke,” the LED bulb lights up to look like a cigarette. It will blink a certain way to let you know it’s time to charge the device or change the cartridge.
Popular brands of this type are South Beach Smoke, VaporFi, MyBlu, Vuse, V2 and Premium eCigarettes.
What You Need To Know Before Using Them
- They require no technical knowledge or experience to use.
- They’re great for traveling or emergencies.
- You can bring them on a plane, but you can’t use them while in flight.
- Disposables create a huge amount of trash. If you’re concerned about the environment, rechargeable devices such as a proper pod mod are a better choice.
- They are the most expensive way to vape long-term. While individual devices are inexpensive, daily use of disposable or rechargeable e-cigarettes will cost more than any other method.
Prefilled Vapes and Pods
You can also buy devices with pre-filled flavor pods. Their design, however, makes them less like cigarettes and more like a vape device. They are sometimes called closed pod systems because you can’t refill the pods yourself. The best-known brand of this type is the Juul.
Many people get their first introduction to a vape-like experience from using the Juul. Another popular brand is Vuse, which makes two well-known cigalikes, the Vibe and the Ciro, but also makes a vape-like device called the Alto.
Like the Juul, these require prefilled cartridges that are not compatible with each other. Juul and Vuse typically have a tobacco flavor, a menthol flavor and a couple of fruit flavors.
They Will Cost You
These systems are an expensive way to vape. The Juul starter kit is $50 and refill pods cost about $30 for a pack of four. The Vuse Alto starter kit is $12. While you can find Vuse refills online for $12, many reviewers say their local stores sell the same two-pack for $20 or more.
What You Should Know Before Using Closed Pod Devices
- Many people say they’re more flavorful and enjoyable than e-cigarettes.
- These companies state a pod is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes, but most smokers have discovered that’s not realistic. If you smoke a pack or more a day, you will probably consume two pods a day.
- Using a regular vape device is more affordable.
- They still create a lot of unnecessary trash which is bad for the environment as the pods are not refillable. They say they are recyclable, but the truth is most end up in landfill.
Vape pens are the next step up from disposable cigarettes and closed pod systems. Vape pens are small, slender devices that look like pens, which is where they get the name. Some manufacturers and retailers call this style “pod vape,” but don’t confuse them with pod mods, which we talk about later.
What They Are
A vape pen is a small, easy-to-use vaping device that has minimal features and allows little customization. It is a good intermediate step for smokers and other first-time vapers who want an easy setup without too many bells and whistles.
That doesn’t mean these are weak or flimsy devices. Vape pens have solid builds and powerful, small batteries. A fully charged vape pen will last all day. The tanks are small, however, so you will have to refill them a few times a day.
How They Work
A vape pen is almost as easy to use as an e-cigarette. You unscrew the pod, fill it with juice and start inhaling. They require some assembly before you use them, but this assembly takes only a few minutes and doesn’t require any tools.
Buttonless or Button-Fired Styles
There are hundreds of vape pens out there, but each is buttonless or button-fired. What’s the difference?
A buttonless vape pen also goes by the name auto-draw pen. You don’t need to push a button to use it. You inhale from the mouthpiece, and the act of inhaling causes the device to fire up.
A button-fired pen requires you to press and hold the button when you want to use it. The standard setup requires you to click the button five times quickly in a row to turn it on or off.
Every major vape device manufacturer makes vape pens. Some well-known brands are the Uwell Nunchaku, Vaporesso Barr, Vaporesso Sky Solo, Smok M17, KandyPens Rubi and Vaporesso Orca Solo.
What You Should Know Before Using Vape Pens
- You can find vape pens priced from $10 to $100. You can find an excellent vape pen for $20 or $30.
- They’re portable and great for vaping while you’re out.
- Most vape pens have refillable pods.
- Auto-draw pens are more convenient and easier to use. Button-fired pens are safer because they’re less likely to fire unintentionally while in your purse or pocket.
The next step up from vape pens is the pod mod. These offer a more intense vape experience and better flavor production. The best pod mod is sleek, portable, and easy to use. These devices come in an enormous variety of shapes, styles and sizes.
What They Are
A pod mod is a small, lightweight device with a built-in battery and a small, detachable pod. It’s very easy to use. You fill the pod with juice, snap it into place and start vaping.
The Most Popular Vape Style
Also known as vaping mods, vape mods or pod vapes, these have become immensely popular. Even experienced vapers use pod mods as backup devices or to sample different types of vape juice.
Pod mods originally had a reputation for being flavorless and cheaply made, but that is no longer true. New technology and manufacturing breakthroughs have led to pod mods with high-end builds that deliver outstanding flavor.
Some of the top-selling pod mods include Vaporesso Luxe PM40, Smok Nord, Suorin Drop, Vaporesso Xros.
What You Need To Know Before Using Pod Mods
- If you use a pod mod all day, you may have to refill the pod several times.
Because of their low wattage, pod mods do not produce heavy clouds. If you like lots of billowing vapors, these are not for you.
- They are a very affordable way to vape. Most pod mods are priced from $15 to $60. You can get a high-quality device for around $20. Refill pods range from $6 to $15 for a pack of two, and you can reuse each pod several times.
Also called advanced personal vaporizers or APV, these are sophisticated devices that feature variable wattage, variable voltage and many other customizable functions. They create a personalized experience that is the ultimate in vaping pleasure.
What They Are
Box mod vapes allow you to create enormous, billowing clouds. They extract every ounce of flavor from your e-juice. They are not, however, for inexperienced users or those who don’t have the patience to learn a new skill.
Vapers who use box mods are passionate about vaping. They are serious hobbyists who enjoy experimenting with different settings and juices to create the custom, premium experience you can only get with a box mod.
Who They’re Best For
Can a beginner use them? You will face a bit of a learning curve, but it’s not as difficult as you might fear. You should have a basic understanding of how electronic devices work, and you will be a step ahead if you’re already using a pod mod or vape pen.
Early box mods were complicated to use, but today’s manufacturers have made it easier to get started. Most times, you just need to place your coil, fill the tank with e-liquid, attach the tank and start vaping. You can change the temperature and airflow settings to fine-tune your experience.
For experienced vapers, a box mod offers the opportunity for full customization. These vapers enjoy putting together their own kits, adjusting settings and creating different types of vape experiences.
Tools and Tips To Set Up a Box Mod
A box mod setup requires several pieces. If your box mod doesn’t have a built-in battery, you will need a separate battery. Today, most manufacturers create starter kits that come complete with everything you need. These kits make assembling a box mod easier.
Some vapers, however, prefer to put together their own combinations. If you go that route, you will need:
- Atomizers or cartomizers
How Box Mods Work
Box mods get their name from their shape. These boxy devices are large enough to hold one large battery or several batteries at once.
Each box mod uses a computer chip set that allows full interaction with the device.
Box mods compress a lot of power into one small package. Today’s box mods come with many safety features including puff counters, ohm monitors, battery monitors, coil-type recognition and atomizer limits. Some come with onboard charging options, but you should always use an external battery charger to be safe.
Regulated and Unregulated Box Mods
Box mods normally come as regulated mods. A box mod that contains wiring, circuitry, a computer chip or a board is a regulated mod. A box mod that doesn’t have those is an unregulated box mod. You should only consider an unregulated box mod if you’re knowledgeable about physics, electronics and the dangers of using an unregulated mod.
What Is a Squonk Box Mod?
A squonk box is also known as a squonker or a bottom feeder. These mods are noteworthy because they simulate the “dripping” style of vaping without making you drip liquid every few seconds.
A squonk box holds e-juice inside a plastic or silicone bottle. Pressing on the bottle forces the liquid through the mod and into the atomizer. This is a highly technical form of vaping that’s not for beginners.
Popular Box Mod Brands
Every vape manufacturer makes box mods. They are usually the brand’s premium, best-known lineup of products. Some popular brands include Vaporesso Gen S, Vaporesso Revenger, Smok Morph, Vaporesso Target, VooPoo Drag and Lost Vape Centaurus.
The Vapestaff blog recently included the Vaporesso Revenger and Vaporesso Target on their list of the greatest box mods of all time.
What You Should Know Before Using Box Mods
- Box mods offer the ultimate in vaping pleasure, but they require a bit of a learning curve.
- Don’t buy an unregulated box mod unless you’re an experienced, knowledgeable vaper.
- A high-quality box mod will range in price from $40 to $150. You can get excellent devices at all price points. After the initial setup, your ongoing costs include coils and e-juice.
Which Vape Device Is Right for You?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you see the sheer number of vaping devices out there. If you’re not sure about switching your device, visiting your local vape shop is a good way to test out different devices firsthand. If you buy a well-crafted device from a reputable manufacturer, you can’t go wrong.